The Golfer's Grip

The Golfer’s GripBy Mike Malaska – Nicklaus Academies’
World-Wide Director of Instruction

Think about the only part of your body – your hands - that comes in contact with the instrument, or club, used to strike the golf ball. The grip is one of the foundations that are required by anyone to swing the club. How you put your hands on the club is essential, for sure, and a critical piece of the puzzle that is overlooked is ‘hand strength’. How do we evaluate hand strength and what exercises are best to increase hand strength specifically for golf? Here is an evaluation and exercise, and a guide as to how to properly hold the club in one easy package that you can do anywhere, anytime.

Begin by holding both hands in front of you with your forearms parallel to the ground and elbows on your side. Stretch your fingers out as far as they can extend, and then slowly curl your fingers inward, joint by joint, so the tips touch the pads on your hand nearest your finger joints – all the while keeping your thumbs pointing to the sky. Once your finger tips touch, slowly extend them outward again, stretching them as far as they can go. And repeat… Be sure the tips of your fingers are not touching the middle of your palms, the fingers must curl at every joint while keeping the back of your hand flat from your wrist to the first knuckle.

The Golfer's GripFor most of my students, getting the right ‘action’ of curling the fingers properly takes some practice. And as most of you will experience, after performing just 5 or 10 of the Golfer’s Grip, your fingers and hands begin to get tired. Since your grip controls what happens at the other end of the club, the head, it makes sense that your fingers and hands have to be one of the stronger links in the chain. The importance of this movement as it related to technique is that this is exactly how you should grip the club – in your fingers.

Perform The Golfer’s Grip every day, increasing the number of repetitions and sets as your hands get stronger and stronger. You can also use The Golfer’s Grip to stretch and warm-up your hands before starting your practice session, teeing it up on the 1st tee, or when you get to your lesson. You will notice an improvement in your grip and importantly, your ability to control the club head throughout the entire swing.

About the author: PGA Professional Mike Malaska is No. 24 on Golf Digest’s ranking of instructors and is one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100. To arrange a personal session with Mike, call 602.799.7099 or visit


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